Raise your hand if you thought Corey Crawford was going to be this good. That is what I thought, and if you did raise your hand, you are most likely lying.
Marty Turco was signed to be the Chicago Blackhawks' No. 1 goaltender for the season. Fans were happy, the team seemed ecstatic to have such a smart and experienced goaltender and it seemed Chicago had its goaltender issues under control.
Boy you were all wrong. Okay, okay…me too. Crawford had his struggles in the beginning as well, which made the Blackhawks' goaltender situation seem like the end of their playoff trip in early November.
Currently heading into the final games of the regular season, the Blackhawks have won eight straight games, more often than not because of Crawford.
Jonathan Toews’ line has been an immense help on the scoring end, but Crawford’s extraordinary saves have been paradise for the Blackhawks' playoffs chances this season.
Crawford is sitting at 26 wins (13th overall in the NHL) and a 2.19 GAA (third overall in the NHL). His performance and stats keep improving as the season moves along.
He has become the team's sensation, especially since the All-Star break. The Blackhawks are now sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference. They are looking to catch the Detroit Redwings to win the back-to-back Central Division titles.
The media and fans have been throwing his name around frequently now for his case to win the Calder Trophy. It is quite possible as his talent has brought hope back to Chicago.
It is painless to see that Crawford has been the savior late this season with his confidence and, in fact, skill. One would have to think that working with Turco has given him this assurance to lend a hand to the reigning Stanley Cup champs for one more chance in the playoffs.
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